A brief cognitive-behavioral intervention for stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms in dental students

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Gabriel Gònzalez
Vanetza E. Quezada *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Vanetza E. Quezada | qvanetza@u.uchile.cl

Abstract

The objective of the study was to implement a brief cognitive-behavioral psychological intervention focused on helping dental students to cope with symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression and to describe the main reasons for consulting and the changes perceived by participants of this intervention. The study consisted of an A-B-C design of a series of individual cases, with evaluations at the beginning of treatment, during treatment, and one month after the last session. The sample was composed of five university students who voluntarily requested psychological care for symptoms related to their studies and work in dentistry. To evaluate the symptoms we used the Outcome Questionnaire (OQ) 45.2, the Dental Environment Stress Questionnaire and a semi-structured exit interview. After attending 8 sessions, all 5 participants reduced their perceived stress in the dental environment. Two of the 5 participants initially had dysfunctional scores according to the questionnaire OQ-45.2 and by the end had normal scores. At the same time, the other 3 participants maintained their scores in the normal range. These results match the qualitative outcomes obtained from the exit interview. The participants reported improved coping skills after the intervention. The main limitation is that it was a non-experimental study; likewise causation cannot be attributed to the intervention and generalizations cannot be formed based on so few cases. Nevertheless, the results were promising in that the dentistry students reported that the intervention was necessary and useful for their psychological well-being.

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Author Biography

Vanetza E. Quezada, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Chile, Ñuñoa; Department of Psychology, University of Chile and School of Psychology, Catholic University of Chile, Macul

Académica Departamento de Psicología Universidad de Chile

Candidata a Doctora en Psicoterapia Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile